Cedar Point has never been a den of mediocrity. Though recent history points towards skyline shifters like Top Thrill Dragster and Millennium Force, perhaps even Arrow’s penultimate creation in the venerable Magnum XL-200, it is easy to forget that Cedar Point has been the home to several other record breakers.

At its debut, Gemini, Cedar Point’s lone racing coaster, was the tallest roller coaster in the world. The park’s first looping coaster, Corkscrew, was the first in the world with three inversions, Mean Streak was tallest and Maverick at Cedar Pointfastest among woodies, and perhaps important only to coasterphiles, the Jr. Gemini is the first roller coaster designed by the legendary Intamin. Intamin’s most recent coaster based foray at Cedar Point is Maverick.

Maverick is not the tallest of the coasters that soar over the once wooded peninsula of Lake Erie. It is not the second tallest, third, or fourth either. It is the tenth, at one hundred and five feet. It is not the longest, shy of that mark by several thousand feet. It broke no records at its debut, and it is the sixth coaster from Intamin at the park. Really, all Maverick has going for it is that is quite simply the best ride at Cedar Point, an opinion shared by virtually everyone waiting in line to ride, even as the fragile beast lay broken.

Yes, broken. While my foray last year to the Point was Maverick free, as was the first day of this particular two day venture, line related in both cases, this time I had promised The Coaster Critic a review of Maverick. I told our group, the normal wife, daughter and Lukas team bolstered by friends Maggie and Greg, that no matter the line, I was riding Maverick. Fate, it appeared, had other plans.

We arrived the second morning about twenty minutes before park opening, Lukas and I raced across the park to Maverick, Greg and Maggie stuck in the regular people waiting area, and we rolled in to see…nothing. Maverick was down. We asked the ride op what was going on, he of course didn’t know, and then a bunch of folks as dumb as us asked the same thing, how in the world was this teenager going to know exactly why a twenty million dollar machine with several hundred thousand parts wasn’t working? We stacked up at the que, rider after rider running to meet disappointment, and when Greg and Maggie showed up we left our spot at the front of the makeshift line to wait with them. About a minute later, a sign turned and we walked into the queue.Maverick at Cedar Point

The lines the day before, and at the trip the year prior, had stood at about two hours, with midday being even worse. That’s a hard nut to crack, especially when Millennium, Top Thrill and pretty much everything else is running an hour or less. Now, allowed into the Maverick que about a half an hour after park open, the line was non-existent. We raced through the empty rails, up the stairs and stopped dead, Maverick’s trains in clear view. A group of goth folks passed us in the exit, with them came a storm of cursing. Maverick was broken. Again.

I try to be a positive person, I really do, and normally that comes out pretty ok. Now, stuck waiting for a ride that might not open that day, or who knows, maybe ever, reality set in and so did a thick funk. My friends, ever mindful of the fragile persona of the burgeoning coaster journalist, decided that mocking me and the situation would be the best possible entertainment as we waited for Maverick. Good enough friends to give me static, and wait with me for a dead coaster, we were rewarded a few minutes later. More quitters had left, and Maverick was open for business.

She loaded like no ride I’ve ever seen, two separate trains at a time, right before the launch area. Not like Top Thrill or other launch coasters where the time spent loading exceeds that of riding, Intamin went out of there way on this one to Maverick at Cedar Pointmaximize riders, and it works.

The restraints are like those on Fahrenheit, Storm Runner, Intimidator 305 and Kingda Ka, thin, soft over the shoulder pieces with thick tubes of foam that lock over the hips and waist. To put it simply, my absolute favorite over the shoulder pieces, miles ahead of Arrow and even a fair clip past a B&M OTSR. Lukas and I made it a point to mention to both Maggie and Greg that it was unnecessary to hold on while wearing such a harness. Hoo boy.

There are many coasters that can have their teeth lessened thanks to youtube or Robb Alvey DVDs. Maverick is not one of them. I have watched POV footage of Maverick more than any other coaster before riding; and the video does it no justice. You’ve probably seen the video. No other coaster, save for The Beast is as poorly represented on digital media as Maverick, and Maverick leaves The Beast in the dust.

A terrain coaster with three inversions and two launches, Maverick is the only coaster that has ever shaken me so hard without ever scaring me. I trusted the restraints, I did and do, but my goodness, no coaster that I’ve ever ridden has ever offered such a concerted effort to throw me from its back. I will say this and say it firmly, no looping coaster that I have ever ridden has offered airtime this wild, and no coaster I have ever ridden has an experience as varied as Maverick. Dual launches, spraying water, tunnels, inversions, airtime galore, Maverick has it all.Maverick at Cedar Point

To put it simply, Maverick really is up to the hyperbole, it is quite literally the wildest ride I’ve ridden. My silicone coastin’ plugs, made by KAOS body jewelry for the big eared among us, have seen me through three seasons of coasters. Diamondback, Kraken, Fahrenheit and numerous others have had no quarrel with my jewelry. Maverick threw them in a lake.

Maverick is the kind of ride than can be polarizing, it is violent on purpose, the train really does feel like it might tear off the tracks, whether on an airtime hill or a banked turn that changes at the last second. I love Intamin, but this is a now ride, if this thing, perfect in its current state ever does loosen up, it will be dangerous. I trust Cedar Point to keep it safe. A terrain coaster wins again, and yet it’s still a surprise. Even in the land of giants, height is immaterial.

I rank Maverick a ten out of ten, and use it as a great reason to help my platform to elect a top ten looping coaster list. Maverick is unranked, yet three of its brothers rank in the Golden Ticket Top Ten. I’m here to tell you, Maverick is better than all of them, challenged only by Magnum, and Millennium and Top Thrill are a far skip behind.

So how is it that a coaster at such a prestigious park, with lines four times as long as the second highest ranked coaster in the world goes unnoticed? My group wanted to ride all day, but the lines just wouldn’t allow it, even on a day when everything else was a half hour wait or less. Are hypers unjustly ruling the rankings? Time will tell. Final Rating 10 – (Superior)

Check out this official POV video from Cedar Point:

Note – This video was filmed by professionals with permission from the park. For safety reasons, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.

Intense Roller Coasters - For Adventurous RidersMaverick is rated ‘IN’ for Intense. It’s a 4 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale for of its speed and loops.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Maverick? Do you agree with Aric’s rating? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of Coaster Image.

About The Author

51 Responses

  1. The Coaster Critic

    I can't really agree or disagree. Maverick wasn't there when I visited Cedar Point in 2006, but for some reason I'm not surprised that you feel it's better than Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster. I preferred Magnum over Millennium Force myself. I'm itching to get back to Cedar Point as I missed Raptor, TTD wasn't running because of rain, and for this great looking ride. Nice review Aric.

  2. Andrew

    The problem with this ride is that it's popularity far eclipses that of any other ride in the park, and when there are great rides, like MF and TTD, with half the wait, it's hard to want to wait in line for Maverick. When i went to cedar point, as it is a long trip for me, it was the first ride I went on, and I loved it, but as the day went on, I realized waiting 90 minutes for a ride AS SOON AS the park opened was a little ridiculous, as I never had to wait that long for any other ride. It is an incredible ride, and all the elements are brilliant, but, as an overall experience, it isn't the best ride in the park.

  3. Nick

    I've ridden this coaster twice and it is amazing. It is one of my top coasters. The airtime hill, the first drop, and all the turns are great. Good review!

  4. Merle

    I am going to stay at the resort inside of the ceader point complex and get the benifit of early admision and it sounds like a good idea to make a point of riding tht before all else. sounds like a great coaster exept for all the downtime, also isnt the launch through the bulding upposed to be pitch black?

    • Quil

      Since there are many riders who get nausiated moving at high speeds in the dark, Intamin probably thought better of it.

  5. Mike

    Hey Aric. I was wondering how tall you are? I've ridden Intimidator 305(which now has new strap restraints), Kingda Ka, Fahrenheit and Stormrunner and always have problems with these restraints banging my head and giving me headaches. I'm only 5'8" so I don't know if that is why or I just haven't learned how to "ride" the coasters that have these restraints. They are all awesome coasters so anyone have any tips on avoiding headbanging???

    • adavis


      I'm 5'8" as well. I will admit I've never figured a way to avoid headbanging, our height seems to keep us in the danger zone, that said, Maverick is the only Intamin I've experienced headbanging on.

      It was worth every second, and forty bucks in jewelry.

      • Mike

        The biggest ride I have a problem with is Intimidator 305 but they've put new straps on the ride so that might be a mute point now. It seems I-305 and Maverick have some of the same elements that cause the banging (the s curves)

      • whereizzy

        im also 5'8, i avoided the head banging on mavrick by putting my hands on the inside of the restraints(lots of room there) and pushing out. maybe its a little annoying but the ride is sooo much better without the massive headache afterward

      • Gordy the 12-Year Ol

        That S-Curve on Maverick was originally supposed to be a Heartline Roll, but they changed it due to how much stress it would put on the trains.

        Do you think it would have been more intense?

      • adavis

        I can't even imagine how intense this already wild ride would have been. I would liked to have ridden it, but I'm sure Intamin made the right choice.

      • MDC

        Apparently the heartline roll produced 7 Gs.

        So yeah, it would have been VERY INTENSE!

      • merle

        it was a cost decision awnserd one of the employes about it because of the waer and tear on the train they would have to have frequent matnince and be replaced alot but that said it would have been great to ride it but i stilll enjoy this particular section

      • Mike

        So I finally got around to riding Maverick. The first ride was kind of rough but after I knew the layout I just stuck my head forward out of the restraint and didn't have an issue EXCEPT as mentioned in a comment below the lap bar part of the restraint would get tighter as the ride went on. I hadn't experienced a problem with this on the aforementioned rides in the review with this same restraint (Stormrunner, Fahrenheit, Kingda Ka) but this was really tight and painful on the legs! Besides that the ride was fantastic and I liked it the more I rode it. I would put it at probably number 3 for me behind TTD and MF. i actually think it is a more complete coaster than those two but I like the launch and height of TTD and the first drop of MF(I would honestly just say one of those aren't better than the other but they are the 3 best coasters in the park IMO). Also I think after riding I305 so much it wasn't as intense as I thought it would be and it actually reminded me of Volcano. Two launches, several inversions, made by Intamin.

  6. Prof. BAM

    I passed Cedar Point when going to PA a few years ago. Maverick wasn't there. I agree with your review, Aric. Maverick seems to live up to its title (and its competition at the park).

  7. Ryan

    Maverick is by far my favorite coaster, (second to I305) the first launch gives the suspense of a lift hill, the 95 degree drop is insane, and the ground level curves are neat, but the best element id by far the airtime hill, you won't find anything like it. So for me a rating of 10 is justified. Great review Aric! Whenever I go to CP Maverick is first.

    Aric I know how you felt about it being closed, when I went to SFNJ, it was just a few days after that horrendous accident on Kingda ka, so after travelling all the way from Atlanta, for Kingda Ka, it was broken, I did get to go back a few years later though!

    • Quil

      I was lucky when I took my one trip to SFGE and Kingda Ka was up and running. The ride is basicaly a well-named lightning rod whith horrible maintinence and a large reputation. Its is the only reason Six Flags keeps it.

      PS-It's Abreaviated SFGE, not SFNJ

      • Quil

        Sorry, I don't know how I forgot to correct that. This is how I meant to write it:

        I was lucky when I took my one trip to SFGE and Kingda Ka was up and running. The ride is basicaly a well-named lightning rod whith horrible maintinence and a large reputation. Its publicity is the only reason Six Flags keeps it.

        PS-It’s Abreaviated SFGE, not SFNJ

      • MarvelMaker

        Kingda Ka's been running well this entire season – much better than TTD if I dare say – and it's SFGAdv, adventure starts with an 'a', not an 'e'.

      • Quil

        oops, I think I mixed up SFNE with SFGAd. Having a park line that puts the same name at the beginning of all of their parks (Excluding TGE) can be a little annoying at times.

  8. Andrew

    The launch isn't in pitch black, it is somewhat dark, but there are blue lights that go by, and the end of the tunnel is very clear, and bright.

    My absolute favorite part about the ride is the turn right after the launch, that sensation is amazing.

    Maverick was my 3rd favorite ride, after TTD and MF, and MF, while not my favorite coaster ever (that belongs to Boulder Dash), it did give me my favorite ride ever. Front seat, black night, perfect weather. It was amazing

    • Erik

      Same here, buddy. I was tempted to put MF in the 3rd or even 4th place slot -after Dragster and Raptor (possibly Maverick; I still can't decide), but then the second time I rode it was front seat at night and it was unquestionably my #2 at Cedar Point.

  9. Austin

    There's no way this coaster should be ranked as high as El Toro. It is a great ride, but it's a real headbanger. Perhaps a 9.5, but not a superior rating. Coaster Critic – perhaps you should be careful about letting guest writers use the superior rating.

    • The Coaster Critic

      Just because you don't agree with Aric doesn't mean that he can't think it's a 10 out of 10 "Superior". I doubt I'd agree with all of the coaster's that you'd rate a 10/10. They're just opinions. As much as I'd like it, a "Superior" on this amazing website isn't a purple heart or golden ticket.

  10. Kevin

    I love Maverick, but I would not rank it higher than coasters such as Magnum, Diamondback, or even Montu and Terminator Salvation. My reasoning is that a ride this great shouldn't have to require special riding techniques only known by enthusiasts to avoid headaches and other injuries caused by the restraint system. In addition, it seems that circulation is virtually cut off to my legs due to the restraints continuously becoming tighter as you travel over the wicked airtime hills and bunny hops.

  11. MDC

    It's odd all of the complaints I have been hearing about the restraints. When I rode it, Maverick was glass smooth, and my head never came close to making contact with the OTSRs.

    • Andrew

      I agree. I never felt restrained, but I felt like they were there if I needed them.

  12. Brian

    I loved the intensity of maverick but it definitely beat me up. If the s-curve would have stayed a heartline roll, I think I may have been decapitated haha. I mst admit that i was a little bitter about being bounced around at first, but The more I remember the ride, the more I want to go back. Other than the one or two head banger moments it was totally worth the wait.

    PS- Aric, I had good luck all day at CP with my KAOS plugs. Guess ya just had some bad luck. I learned my lesson with hard plugs on Storm Runner @ Hersheypark. OTSRs, heartline rolls, and glass plugs do not mix very well lol.

    • adavis


      I started wearing the KAOS plugs after giving myself a beautiful hickey on an Arrow corkscrew clone about three years ago. I'm not sure what size you wear, but my two inch KAOS pieces were tossed almost immediately, glad to hear you had better luck. My replacements are on the way as we speak.

      • Brian

        Haha I could imagine. I felt like those glass plugs I had were going to end up as Frankenstein neck bolts. I'm only at a 1/2" so I guess the smaller ones stay put a little better. All in all, I'd gladly sacrifice a pair of plugs to ride Maverick again… especially if it could somehow forgo the 6+ hour drive from central Maryland haha.

  13. airtime

    Aric is dead on about this ride – it's a complete blast. I still look forward to a ride on Maggie when going to CP more than Mav, but this ride is definitely on my must-do list when visiting the Coast. (And IMO, it beats out Millie for #2 at CP.)

  14. merle

    i rode front back and two seats from front and at most expirianced a little jerking not head banging

  15. mason

    I rode the Maverick for the first time this year. I had heard it was an awesome ride, but I did not enjoy it because of the headbanging. I agree, the twists and turns were great, I just can't deal with my head being bounced around. I am 5'8" and from what others have commented, that is the headbanging height. I will try the suggestion of putting my hands on the inside of the restraints and see if that helps. I probably would have loved the ride if not for the head bashing. However, my favorite is the MF! That is the best ride at CP!

  16. Erik

    I'm 5'7" or so and did not experience any headbanging, other than when I got off and made heavy metal devil horns and banged my head in victory. It was really hard not to call this the best ride in the park. Top Thrill Dragster is just all kinds of wrong. We had to put that at #1 just for the sheer what-the-humpedness of it and we both put Millenium Force at #2 because it's just epic in scale. I am, as I write this, struggling to rectify putting Maverick ahead of The Raptor; Raptor just has so much more going for it AND it is designed just about as brilliantly as Maverick AND it is nearly as smooth.

    It's like it's Maverick is in its own category of "Simply Delightful". It's so elegantly designed to maximize the experience of every section of track. We didn't know about the second launch and it just makes it so much more joyful.

    I'd like to know how you rate the Raptor.

  17. Frog

    CRAZY INTENSE!!!!!!!!! By far the most intense/thrilling ride I have ever been on! I am a wimp when it comes to very big coasters, but this seemed easy. i was completely wrong. I got off with my throat dry from yelling, and was shaken up. This ride is wicked smooth, yet flips you around everywhere! It never slows down besides right before the launch, but that is only a couple of seconds. Just enough to take a breath, then you are blasted out! My most intense coaster to date!

  18. Gruff Dan

    Im 6 1 and my issue with Maverick is that my ears kept getting banged on the restraints, much like the Mantis. I really like the Maverick otherwise.

  19. Trent

    It was fun but I got banged up a lot (like you said), I probably wouldn't give it a 10, although that airtime hill is insane.

  20. Matt

    Maverick is great! I was very suprised when I rode it. Since it wasn't that tall or long I thought it would be a let down. I was way off. Maverick is one of my favorite coasters (my 3rd favorite to be exact) that ive ridden. It is wild yet smooth, and is very unique. 10 out of 10, agreed.


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